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The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim - Everything You Need to Know

2/21/2024 • 4 min read

A Lord of the Rings movie prequel is coming to theatres, and it has a surprising form. THE WAR OF THE ROHIRRIM is an anime Lord of the Rings movie that explores a part of Middle-Earth history we haven't seen before.

The anime features Western actors like Brian Cox and Miranda Otto, and follows ancestors of the Riders of Rohan seen in Peter Jackson's legendary LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy. Here's everything you need to know about THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE WAR OF THE ROHIRRIM.

What's the Lord of the Rings Anime Release Date?

New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. Pictures will release WAR OF THE ROHIRRIM in movie theaters on December 13, 2024.

Is There a Lord of the Rings: War of the Rohirrim Trailer?

There is no trailer yet for THE WAR OF THE ROHIRRIM. In fact, we haven't seen any final images or footage at all. All we have right now is concept art such as the piece above. From that we can tell that there's a definite visual connection between the live-action movie trilogy and this movie, but that's all we have right now.

The War of the Rohirrim Is a Hand-Drawn Anime

One of the most surprising aspects of the LORD OF THE RINGS prequel isn't even that it is an anime, but that the animation will be hand-drawn rather than CG.

THE WAR OF THE ROHIRRIM animation is being created by Sola Entertainment, which also did the 2022 "Shenmue" series and the Adult Swim series "Ninja Kamui," which just launched.

What's the Plot of The War of the Rohirrim?

The Lord of the Rings anime is based on the story of Helm Hammerhand. He's one of the rulers of Rohan, as written by J.R.R. Tolkien in the appendices to the original "Lord of the Rings" novels. Specifically, the outline for this movie's story appears in Appendix A published in "The Return of the King." It outlines the history of the House of Eorl, which ruled Rohan for hundreds of years.

The movie story takes place 261 years before the events that open THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING. The story is set, as the title suggests, in the kingdom of Rohan. It follows Helm Hammerhand, a legendary King of Rohan who leads the horsemen of his kingdom in battle against the Dunlendings.

(The Dunlendings are men who were fierce enemies of the Rohirrim for centuries, and who allied themselves with Sauron and Saruman during the events of THE LORD OF THE RINGS. They are seen briefly in the theatrical version of THE TWO TOWERS, and in slightly more detail in the expanded edition of the same movie.)

Helm Hammerhand is also the namesake of Helm's Deep, the fortress that served as the location of the massive battle at the end of The Two Towers. So there's a good chance that we'll see that location in its original state.

The Anime Is Connected to the Movies, Not the Recent Streaming Series

Tolkien stories in film and TV have been complicated by licensing rights that led to the Amazon series "The Rings of Power." But THE WAR OF THE ROHIRRIM is not connected to the streaming series. Instead, it is directly tied to Peter Jackson's series of LORD OF THE RINGS live-action movies. In fact, a key actor from Jackson's movies reprises their role here, and the behind the scenes crew features some of the same creators as well.

Who's in the Lord of the Rings Anime Cast?

Brian Cox voices Helm Hammerhand, which is a wonderful casting choice. Cox's voice has range and power, and it's easy to imagine his performance defining one of Tolkien's warrior characters.

Miranda Otto from Peter Jackson's movies reprises the role of Éowyn. We expect that the character will be seen primarily at the beginning or end of the movie to provide a framing structure, as her character won't be born for a couple hundred years. She does narrate the movie, however, so we'll have to wait to see how heavy the role is.

Additionally, Gaia Wise plays Helm's daughter Hera; Luke Pasqualino voices the Dunlending leader Wulf (not to be confused with the Dunlending leader Wulf who makes a deal with Saruman hundreds of years later); Laurence Ubong Williams plays Helm's nephew and potential successor Fréaláf Hildeson; and Shaun Dooley is Wulf's father, Freca.

Many other actors have roles, too, but we don't know their parts yet: Lorraine Ashbourne, Yazdan Qafouri, Benjamin Wainwright, Michael Wildman, Jude Akuwudike, Bilal Hasna, and Janine Duvitski are in the cast.

The War of the Rohirrim Filmmakers

WAR OF THE ROHIRRIM is directed by Kenji Kamiyama, who has a long history in animation and anime, with a lot of work done for the well-known house Production I.G. He's working from a screenplay by Phoebe Gittins and Arty Papageorgiou, which is based on a story by Jeffrey Addiss and Will Matthews. Phoebe Gittins is the daughter of Philippa Boyens, who was one of the primary writers on Peter Jackson's original movies. Indeed, Boyens is an executive producer on this movie.

Also on board are a trio of key artists from Jackson's crew: Effects mastermind Richard Taylor, art director Alan Lee, and Tolkien illustrator John Howe. Together, that trio basically defined the look and feel of Jackson's landmark movies, and their involvement with WAR OF THE ROHIRRIM will hopefully build real creative ties to that trilogy.




All images courtesy of New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. Pictures.

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